Barbara Cegavske Accomplishments As Secretary of State
-Sworn in on January 5, 2015
- Finalized contract and currently developing the replacement of a state-of-the-art processing system which will allow for more streamlined and efficient processing. Almost every filing processed by the Commercial Recordings Division will be available online when the e-SoS processing system replacement is completed.
- Due to process enhancement and division reorganization, a 1 – 3-day average turnaround time on regular filings has been maintained. Accordingly, the streamlined automation has allowed the office to focus on customer service, providing the highest level of service and prompt response to customer inquiries and filing needs.
- Expanded the use and reach of SilverFlume, Nevada’s Business Portal. SilverFlume is widely-used with more than 344,000 active customer-user accounts and 150 governmental users. The Secretary of State’s office continues to work with state, county, and local agencies in identifying and developing processes to allow more online licensing and information through SilverFlume.
- Despite increases in certain business taxes and reporting requirements, the office continues to maintain over 300,000 active business entities and over 340,000 active State business licenses.
- Actively participates in business expos and other business events and has spoken at numerous chamber and business organization meetings.
- The main focus of the Secretary’s first term in office was the 2016 Election. Secretary Cegavske visited all 17 counties, meeting personally with the county clerks, registrars of voters, and their staff to ensure their needs and concerns were addressed. The Secretary and her staff worked directly with local election officials on training and to standardize practices and procedures. Secretary Cegavske looks forward to visiting all 17 counties again in 2017.
- Hosted two multi-day workshops with local election officials that included presenters with elections experience from all over the country. The workshops provided relevant information to local election officials and helped improved the quality of election administration in Nevada. Secretary Cegavske has met with local election officials on many other occasions to provide training, support, and listen to the needs of Nevada’s local election officials.
- In conjunction with the 2017 legislative session, the Secretary of State and election officials from all 17 counties procured $8 million in grant funding to replace the existing electronic voting system that is in use statewide.
- Voting rights for the military: Secretary Cegavske continues the enhancement and promotion of the Effective Absentee System for Elections (EASE), Nevada’s online ballot delivery system for military and overseas voters. EASE seamlessly integrates all the documents necessary for Nevada’s military members, their spouses, and dependents, and qualified overseas voters to register to vote, update existing voter registration information, request an absentee ballot, and receive and complete an absentee ballot for submittal.
- Secretary Cegavske traveled to Fort Bliss, Texas, prior to the 2016 election to introduce EASE to a Nevada National Guard military police unit that was preparing for deployment overseas.
- Nevada’s EASE program was a finalist in 2016 for the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) IDEAS award.
- Assembled the 2016 Election Task Force (ETF), a bipartisan group of individuals consisting of former governors, U.S. senators, secretaries of state, current and former legislators, local election officials, former election administrators, and election law experts. This group offered its vast experience and insight in preparation for the 2016 election.
- Convened the 2016 Election Integrity Task Force (EITF), which was comprised of the Secretary of State’s Office, the Nevada Attorney General’s Office, representatives from both Republican and Democrat parties, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Las Vegas Metro, and various local law enforcement agencies. The EITF investigates complaints regarding voter registration practices, potential voter fraud, and voter intimidation. The EITF is a model of jurisdictional cooperation for responding to election-related complaints. In 2016 and 2017, investigations commenced and arrests were made related to voter registration fraud and petition signature gathering fraud. Numerous EITF investigations are ongoing.
- Actively encouraged voter registration and participation through her community outreach efforts in advance of the successful 2016 primary and general elections. Spoke with various groups throughout the state on election-related matters and the importance of voting. Oversaw successful 2016 primary and general elections.
- Strengthened Nevada’s election laws relating to candidate residency requirements and political action committee (PAC) financial reporting requirements (see AB 21, 2017 legislative session). Additionally, Secretary Cegavske sponsored a successful bill that extended the deadline to register to vote by mail, added two additional days for online voter registration, and modified candidate Contributions and Expenses (C&E) reporting requirements to include ending account balances and itemization of expenses charged to a credit card (see AB 45, 2017 legislative session).
- Established the Helen J. Stewart Award in 2017 to recognize Nevada High Schools that achieve voter registration of 85% or more of eligible students in their senior class. The purpose of the award is to launch students from high school who are poised for civic participation in their community by encouraging voter registration among young adults as they come of age.
- Secretary Cegavske continues to stress the importance of civics education. She and her staff visited and spoke at numerous schools in Northern and Southern Nevada educating students about the duties of the Nevada Secretary of State, encouraging students to talk to their parents about the importance of civic issues and the importance of participating in elections.
- As a member of the Education Commission of States (ECS) since 1997, she currently serves on the Executive Board of the National Center for Learning and Civics Education (NCLCE.)
- Worked with the Clark County School District to respond to the NCLCE State Civics Education Policy Gap Analysis comparing current civics education practices with established evidence-based best practices and competitive benchmarks.
- Supported and participated with Inspire Nevada during 2015, 2016 and 2017 school years.
- Secretary Cegavske is a fellow with the Hunt Kean Leadership Fellows; a national, nonpartisan program partnering with senior-level political leaders who have the knowledge, skill and will to be effective, reform-minded policymakers at the state level.
- Worked on legislation authorizing high schools to require students to take an examination in civics. (SB 322)
- Approved online “mock election” allowing students from the across the state, under teacher supervision, to participate.
- Continued the mission protecting Nevada investors from securities fraud by licensing investment professionals, registering securities offerings, enforcing the state’s securities laws, and educating the public.
- Worked with Legislative Leadership relating to imposing a fiduciary duty on financial planners. Currently working on regulations. (SB 383 of the 2017 Legislative Session)
- During the 2015 legislative session, the office proposed and supported passage of the Nevada Uniform Securities Act, focusing on the protection of seniors and vulnerable persons from exploitation.
- Worked to reorganize the Criminal Investigation Unit to enhance the unit’s ability to respond to and investigate violations of Nevada Securities Law.
- Worked with members of both parties in the legislature to strengthen Athlete’s Agents legislation. Working on regulations and process changes relating to the legislation (AB 372 of 2017 Legislative Session)
- Developed and implemented the online training program for new and renewing notary’s public, virtually negating the need for live, in-person training, allowing those needing the training to do so according to their needs and schedules. The office is also developing processes relating to e-notarization.
- Elected to the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) Executive Board as Member-at-Large and Liaison to the Notary Public Administrator Section.
- Currently striving to modernize notary appointment and registration processes.
- Worked with legislators and interested parties in developing legislation for notarization of electronic documents by audiovisual communications (remote notarization). Currently developing regulations and processes relating to remote notarization. (AB 413 of the 2017 Legislative Session)
- Worked with the legislature to strengthen the penalties for willful violation of Nevada Notary Law and for causing irreparable harm to a person. (AB 148 of 2017 Legislative Session)
Document Preparation Services
- Liaised with both parties in the state legislature to strengthen Document Preparation Services statutes and increase the penalties for knowingly violating Document Preparation Service Statutes which caused irreparable harm to a victim. (AB 148 and AB 324)
- Praised by Nevada Department of Public Safety for fingerprinting and documentation procedures.
- The office was rated compliant in all areas audited regarding civil applicant background processing and was highly commended for its exemplary “attention to detail and quality control.”
Living Will Lockbox
- Worked with the judicial branch on legislation pertaining to guardianships, resulting in the filing of a guardian nomination through the Nevada Lockbox administered by her office. The guardianship nomination lockbox takes effect January 1, 2018, and is currently under development. (SB 229 of 2017 Legislative Session)